Other Comments - Guidance
What we asked
Q5: Do you have any other comments about the draft Guidance?
91. This question sought to provide an opportunity for respondents to offer their views on the draft guidance which were not captured in their earlier commentary regarding either the principles and expectations of effective community planning or the review and reporting of progress for Local Outcomes Improvement Plans and locality plans
92. In requesting other comments we have found some overlap in themes raised in response to earlier questions. Where this was the case, these have been presented together at an appropriate point in an attempt to avoid repetition
93. 73 respondents included additional comments in this section, not all related to the guidance and some reiterated or summarised what had been included in their comments in relation to other questions in the consultation.
94. Clarity was sought and comments offered in this section in relation to: dispute resolution; accountability to communities, alignment of planning structures and cycles.
95. It was also requested by some CPP and Local Authority respondents that guidance include commentary on dispute resolution processes in relation to disagreements amongst partners. A Public Body reflected these comments when stating that "it is not clear what remedial options are available should any partners fail to contribute the resources that the CPP thinks are required"
96. Additionally, Third Sector bodies also sought information on how the CPP will resolve participation and engagement queries in an instance where a 'community' is subdivided into two or more groups who don't agree or share the same opinion.
Accountability to communities
97. A small number of respondents who noted that formal lines of accountability for public bodies remain the same also welcomed the increasing emphasis within guidance on community planning partnership accountability to communities for progress on local outcomes. This included some stating the increasing role that individuals and communities have in scrutinising the quality of public services under the 2015 Act.
Alignment of planning structure and cycles
98. A number of respondents across categories recognised the potential benefits to align planning structures and cycles. Several respondents emphasised that CPPs should where possible adopt existing sensible structures or be aligned to existing planning structures for other policy areas and planning cycles to reduce duplication.
99. An NHS respondent, who found the guidance helpful, ventured that "There is a need to consider the LOIPs in the context of other planning and reporting requirements such as the LDP in the NHS to ensure an industry in writing plans does not evolve and impact on the capacity of all organisations to deliver". This echoes earlier messages supportive of Christie Commission principles of making public service delivery more efficient by reducing duplication.
100. One Local Authority respondent mindful of the differing statutory plans, structures and cycles that they participated in, was concerned to ensure that local Boards with statutory duties fully understand how the expectations of the Community Empowerment Act and other national policy expectations placed on them and other Boards to deliver specific targets interrelate.